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(Written and photos taken by Radel Llagas)

90 cacao farmers from 10 municipalities in Quezon province attended the Training on Code of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) on cacao production spearheaded by the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office No. IV-CALABARZON High Value Crops Development Program on June 5-6, 2018 at St. Jude Coop Hotel, Tayabas City, Quezon.

According to Ma. Ana S. Balmes, Regional Focal Person for Cacao, the training aims to equip our cacao farmers with knowledge on GAP concepts and princples and to improve their skills on cacao production by introducing farming technologies on the same.

Eva Pugay, Farm Superintendent II, explained the concepts and principles of GAP as well as its certification scheme and internal guidelines. Pugay said that this training is a prerequisite for GAP application and that the regional office will be there to assist them to ensure that they can be eligible for GAP certification.

On the second day, Marigel M. Bacalso, Technical Consultant in KIDLAT Inc., discussed the package of technology needed in cacao production such as cultural management, cost and return analysis, and post-harvest handling and storage. Cecille Marie Manzanilla, Regional Crop Protection Center Chief, discussed common pests and diseases of cacao and the control and management thereof. Finally, Ellenida Racelis, Fetilizer and Pesticide Authority Provincial Officer for Quezon, explained the safety use and handling of agro chemicals.